In brief...

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
My interests vary from conservation to education to heritage to Nature (biodiversity & wildlife) to outdoor activities to life in general.
They occupy most of my waking moment.
Do read my blogs, follow me on Twitter (@jocelynesze) and friend me on Facebook (subject to my discretion). Visit my Nature blog, Nature Rambles, at http://natureramble.wordpress.com.

UPDATE 2 Apr 2017 - This site is no longer maintained, please visit jocelynesze.wordpress.com if you're interested in more recent writing.

Friday, April 04, 2014

A break.

Lent vacation started since mid-March; I've had two weeks of a real break, been trying to do some work for the past week, and there'll be another two weeks of Geology field trip before the nightmare term begins. The first two weeks were lovely. A break from work, mostly, a break from people and crowded places, a break from feeling alone.

Started off going all the way up North to the Scottish highlands for a winter skills course. Wasn't anything major, just use of crampons and ice axe, arresting falls and digging a shelter. It was supposed to be a two-day course, but bad weather (really strong winds) ensured that our second day was a nice flat-ground 16km walk instead. Really pretty place, too bad I didn't really have time to stop by the cities/coast (but memories of 1st year geology field trip, with sleet in our faces while slipping on pillow lavas along the Ayrshire coast, are still fairly fresh in mind). I have been assured by Sister Ann from our chaplaincy that Edinburgh is the prettiest city in the UK, and I would love to have the chance to visit the Scottish mountains again sometime.

Somewhere on the way up in the Cairngorm Mountains.

A shelter I dug for myself using the ice axe.

RED SQUIRREL (Sciurus vulgaris)!! Right outside the youth hostel.

After the communications isolation (3G is pretty poor up in the North), I went for a retreat with my church to Worth Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in South London. I have never been for a church retreat before, and even church camps back in Singapore were few (my year only had one or two I think, in the 9 or so years of catechism instead of the usual annual camp). The peace and spiritual rejuvenation was probably much needed, and I really enjoyed it, even the early morning prayers.

Worth Abbey.

Then it was back to communications isolation, this time not even having reception in the far reaches of Northumberland. The Northernmost bit of England, right next to the Scottish border. Really nice scenery, good hikes, and good company – all that is needed to make one happy. Or maybe just me.

Typical English countryside
On a misty/drizzly day on the way up Windy Gyle.
At Russell's Cairn - Pour toi mon frère (for you my brother) 
Rainbow! :)
Embleton Bay
Northumberland coastal walk from Low Newton back to Craster
After the lovely few weeks of relative isolation, the jump back into crowded London was quite a shock, but it was definitely nice to see friends again and have good Jap food. And of course, the whole point of being in London was for Singapore Day :)

Singapore Day 2014 at Victoria Park, London

Loads of Singaporeans. For once, I was in the majority. 

Gutted to see this sign. Ran out right before me :(

(: I'm not alone in the way I think. Thanks for spending time with me in London!
It was a really nice tree to climb. 
Back to Cambridge, which also meant back to work. Somehow this year, I'm a lot more kan cheong (anxious) about the exams, and I'm really quite worried I can't finish covering all my topics in time. Even so, I'm falling behind my revision schedule, and I wish information would stick in my head better. Anyways, I can't really complain.

Gonna be spending my birthday on a field trip again, geology trip to Dorset this time. Gonna be my last geology field trip, and I am quite sad about it :( The geologists are a fun bunch and the department is hands down the best in the whole university. I am still convinced though that conservation is my calling and not rocks, though I would like to dabble in geology if I could...

Not quite looking forward to Easter term nor exams. Not sure who would be, though being in Cambridge, I'm sure there will be people who are.

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